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Coarsefish Torbay Fishing News

Welcome to my new look News page. Every update will include a fishing report plus a tackle review and any other items of interest I can think of. You can still see the archive at the foot of the page to see previous news pages.

I hadn't fished Stafford Moor since March, so was long overdue a visit. A new Drennan rod had arrived for me to test for Angler's Mail, and old friend Graham Aveyard was booked in for a week's holiday, so I had plenty of excuse to drive up north of Dartmoor.
Sadly, the weather decided to take a turn. With strong winds and heavy showers forecast, it didn't look like it would be a good day to be on the bank.

Despite the crosswind, I set up on peg 3 on Tanners. This would give me a decent 6' deep swim in which to draw skimmers. A gentle cast of just about 20 metres took my float to the deepest part of the swim. The plan was to feed small nuggets of dampened micro pellets every cast with a catty. I also pinged a few hard 4mm and 6mm every ten minutes, just to spread the feed over a bigger area. Hookbait was a banded 6mm pellet, on a size 20 Fox Series 2 barbless, tied to 0.12mm Silstar Match Team.
The rod I wanted to try is the Drennan Acolyte Ultra 13'. You can read my preview in the Angler's Mail in a couple of week's time. I will also be writing a full review of the rod later in the year. This should give me enough time to really put it through its paces.
It is an out and out silver fish rod, with a tip to middle action. Both casting and striking showed how beautiful the action is compared to modern sloppy float rods. A couple of small carp muscled their way in and showed that the rod can handle them well enough, but it was the soft-mouthed skimmers I really wanted to catch.

At the end of four damp hours, I was well pleased to lift more than 20lbs out of the water for the catch shot. Along with the carp, I also had one of the strange mottled tench that thrive here. Graham next door had four proper green tench and a nice 2lb perch as well.
I really enjoyed fishing the waggler, especially as the pole would have been impossible to fish past about 9m. Stafford Moor is a treat to fish at any time of the year, but autumn into winter it shows a magical face despite the inclement weather.

Coming up on the weekend of 9th and 10th November is the Silvermaniac two-dayer. It's the time when Stafford Moor opens its doors to some of the top match anglers in the country as they bid to win the big money. At the time of writing, there were two tickets left before Andy starts a waiting list.

There are more pictures of the day on my Facebook page, so take a look if you are a user. Don't forget to add me as a 'friend' and click to 'like' the photos, thanks. Also, click the button below to follow me on Twitter.


I'm not sure there is such a thing as the perfect pole float. But if there were, it would be very similar to a J-Range J8, in my opinion.
With a slightly body-down shape, a high visibility bristle and a long wire stem, it can cope with a wide range of situations.

J8 pole float

Previously, I used a float from a well-known range that is quite similar to the J-8. Once I had seen the J-8, however, I knew it was a better pattern.

The wire stem is a little longer on the J-8 than other floats. I feel this makes it sit better in the swim and it is more stable if the weather is rough.
The option to use the exact same float, but with a thicker bristle also appeals. Once I have found a bit of kit I like, I try not to have other similar bits with me. In my winder tray, there are only four or five different patterns of float, and the J-8 allows me to cover lots of scenarios with one pattern.
Available in 4x10, 4x12, 4x14, 4x16, 4x18 and in the same sizes as J-8t with a 2mm bristle and J-8s with a stronger tip and inline body attachment.

Dropshotting beginner

I've been trying dropshotting for perch this year using Fish Arrow Flash-J soft shads from Art of Fishing in Cornwall.

I have picked up a few small perch, but also suffered from dropped takes. I wonder if they are just smaller fish.
Being able to see the lure working in clear water is very informative. It seems the best way to move it is with very small twitches of the rod top.
On the Exeter Canal, hordes of minute perch follow these lures into the bank. I wonder if they help to provoke an attack from a larger fish?
In a recent article about dropshotting in Angler's Mail, Andy Black suggested that lures with a straight tail are better, so I may have to do some more buying and testing.

Where I'm going next...

It feels like autumn is really here now, with strong winds and plenty of rain. Although some may not like the weather, it is good for our rivers and stillwaters to get a recharge.

Tackle still with autumn leaves

I'm having a grayling fishing weekend on the River Severn in mid-November. It should be another workout for my new Drennan Acolyte.
On that same weekend, it is the Riverfest final on the Wye at Hereford. I'll be there taking photos for a match report for Angler's Mail. Finger's crossed one of the southwest contingent can run away with the big money. If I was to pick a winner now, I would choose Ian 'Diddy' Didcote of our boys, but I hope either Chavey or Andy Power also give it a good shot. Andy wins on a wide variety of venues, and it would be good for his profile to show he's not just a carp bagger.

I'm planning a trip back down to Emporer Lakes quite soon. It has really impressed me with just how much water they have and the diversity of fishing available.
I'll fish one of the smaller ponds again and look to catch whatever I can on maggots. It will be an interesting exercise and could throw up some surprises. Maybe another big tench? Perhaps a huge perch? See the results next month...

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all images and text are copyright Steve Lockett 2013